What Drinks Should I Avoid to Maintain White Teeth?

 

women with head piece made of flowers

 

As the famous song from Broadway’s hit musical Annie protests, you are never fully dressed without a smile. Whether you are dressed up or dressed down, the perfect smile is a great way to invite friendship into your life and show people that you are a warm and inviting person.

If you do not have white teeth, you may feel insecure about your smile, or your smile might not be as bright as your personality. Whether you have just had a teeth bleaching session or simply want to upgrade your best asset, there are ways that you can maintain white teeth by changing up your diet.

What you eat and drink has a large impact on the color of your teeth. Drinks especially can affect your pearly whites. Read on to learn about what drinks you should avoid to maintain white teeth and what you can do to make your teeth sparkle and shine.

Let’s jump right in!

Why Some Drinks Are Worse For Teeth Than Others

Man looking into vending machines

Before looking at what drinks are worse for white teeth, we need to talk about why these drinks are bad in the first place. Since we kicked off this article by quoting one of the cheesiest songs in existence, we might as well quote one of the most cliché sayings, too: knowledge is power.

By knowing exactly why you can't drink a drink, you are more likely to refrain from drinking them and make other choices that benefit your teeth and health as a whole.

Acids, Tannins, and Chromogens

The drinks that are bad for white teeth tend to have a high acidic, tannin, or chromogen content. [Acidic](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808596/#:~:text=Acids provide a tartness and,%2C and improve shelf-life.) food and drink can erode your enamel. When enamel is eroded, it is more likely that your teeth can be stained since they don't have that protective barrier.

[Tannins](https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tannins-in-tea#:~:text=Tannins are a type of plant compound naturally found in,bind with proteins and minerals.) are what give many drinks their astringency, flavor, and color. It is the tannin that can put a yellow or brown color on different porous surfaces. There are other compounds like chromogens that are similar to tannins in how they stain and add color to the drink, though chromogens are primarily found in soda.

Acid and tannins on their own are bad enough. When you put them together, though, they wreak havoc on your teeth by destroying your enamel barrier and dyeing your teeth yellow. Most drinks that are bad for your teeth are high in acid, tannins, or both. In contrast, drinks that are good for your teeth are low in these things.

Drinks to Avoid For White Teeth

Now that you know why certain drinks are bad for you, let's jump right in to see what drinks you should avoid. All of these drinks are high in tannins and acids, meaning that they can erode your enamel and leave your teeth an unsightly shade of yellow.

Glass of tea on a table with candles

1. Tea

Delicious when served chilled or hot, tea is a drink that is drunk all around the globe. With both caffeinated and herbal options, tea can either relax you or bring a little extra pep to your step in the morning.

Even though tea may taste great for your taste buds and help you in other ways, it is actually one of the worst drinks for your teeth whitening. Even though many teas have a light pigment, they have an incredibly high amount of tannin.

Because of that tannin amount in tea, it is great for dyeing fabric, tanning leather, and making ink. It is no shock that tea stains your teeth so badly.

If you are a regular tea drinker, like myself, then the chances of you cutting tea out of your daily routine are probably slim to none. I know that I do not like starting my day without my cup of black tea.

Still, the drink will stain your teeth if left unchecked, so you should limit its consumption and brush your teeth after drinking immediately.

 

6 wine glasses held up in a toast

2. Wine

Wines are also really high in acid and tannin. The dark coloration of red wine is especially due to the tannin amount. It is no shock that this red wine can leave a tint on your white teeth.

Because of the color of red wine, you might assume that white wine is better for your teeth. This is [outright false](https://slotownsmiles.com/blog/dental-health/red-vs-white-wine-teeth-whitening/#:~:text=New research has shown that,whitening in San Luis Obispo.). Although the higher amount of tannins in red wine can cause stains, white wine is more acidic, meaning that it will damage your teeth more. The more damaged your teeth, the more pain and stain you will experience.

Luckily, an occasional glass of wine isn't going to stain your teeth. But if you drink wine on a regular basis and don't take good care of your enamel, then wine, red or white, will certainly stain your teeth.

 

Cup of coffee on the table with coffee beans

3. Coffee

You probably guessed that coffee would be on this list. It's dark and thick texture makes it a great contributor to teeth staining. Like the other drinks on this list, it has a lot of tannin and is acidic in nature. Together, this causes enamel erosion, tooth decay, and teeth yellowing.

Adding sugar and sweeteners to your coffee only makes the matter worse. These sugars can add to tooth decay. As the tooth decays, your enamel erodes, and staining is more likely to occur.

Interestingly, coffee is actually not as bad for staining as tea. Even though coffee has a darker color, it is lower in tannin, so it is not as potent for teeth staining as tea. Thus, tea stains your teeth more than coffee.

 

Can of Coke Cola in the snow

4. Soda

The last drink on this list is soda. Any type of carbonated drink or sugary substance is terrible for your teeth because it can cause tooth decay, enamel erosion, and teeth yellowing. The two ingredients behind these results are phosphoric acid and chromogens.

Phosphoric acid, as you have hopefully gathered from the name, is a type of acid. It erodes your enamel, which makes your teeth less protected. This makes them more susceptible to staining and yellowing.

Chromogens are similar to tannins in that they are what give cola their color. This means that the chromogens will also stain your teeth directly. Chromogens and phosphoric acid together are a deadly duo for white teeth.

What You Can Do About Teeth Stains

Man with curly hair holding a snow teeth whitening tray

 

If you look in the mirror and notice that your teeth aren't as white as you would like them to be, you have some options. Here are four ways to deal with teeth stains and get your teeth back to the shiny white they once were.

1. Avoid Staining Drinks

Obviously, the most basic thing you can do is avoid food and drink that causes tooth staining. The less you drink of the beverages mentioned in this article, the less likely your teeth are to be stained.

Still, it can be a bit unrealistic to completely cut out all of these drinks. As I said, I'm definitely not cutting out tea from my diet. There are things you can do to combat staining without completely cutting out the drinks.

First things first, you can limit your intake. For example, I used to drink tea morning, noon, and night. Now, I only drink it in the morning. You can do the same by limiting your daily intake.

Additionally, always brush your teeth directly after drinking the staining beverage. This is a great way to get the acid and tannin off your teeth before they have the chance to cause any damage.

If the beverage of your choice is served cold, you can also opt for drinking out of a straw. Drinking out of a straw will keep the drink away from the front of your teeth so that they don't have a chance to stain them. Obviously, this tip doesn't really work with hot drinks because you could burn the back your throat this way.

2. Brush Teeth After You Eat and Drink

Whether or not you are drinking a beverage that is known for tooth staining, you can always brush your teeth directly after eating or drinking to prevent staining. Brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to keep your teeth in great condition all the time.

When I was in high school, I personally kept a travel toothbrush in my backpack so that I could brush my teeth after lunch. I found this to be a super easy and convenient way to keep my teeth clean and breath smelling fresh. It only took a couple minutes out of my day, too.

You can incorporate this tip into your daily routine by getting yourself a travel toothbrush and toothpaste kit.

3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to brushing your teeth after you eat or drink, make sure you practice good oral hygiene in general. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Make sure to invest in a good toothpaste with fluoride in it. Your toothpaste will help protect your teeth and enamel from decay and erosion.

Although it might not be super obvious, [flossing helps to keep your teeth white](https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/21/fashion/thursdaystyles/miles-of-floss-for-whitened-teeth-spinach-specks.html#:~:text=Although flossing may not make,buildup of plaque%2C said Dr.) because it prevents plaque buildup. Charcoal floss is one of the best ways to absorb plaque so that tannins and other staining agents have less to stick to on your teeth.

Even if you make sure to brush and floss every single day, also schedule regular appointments with your dentist. Your dentist can help you find if there are any underlying issues you don't know about. Your dentist can also make great recommendations for caring for your teeth and keeping them white.

4. Whiten Your Teeth

One of the best ways to make sure that your teeth are kept white is by whitening them. Whitening your teeth will help give them that extra sparkle and kick most people are looking for. Whether you are on a strict budget or have a lot of money to spend on your teeth whitening, there is an option for everyone.

If you are someone who is willing to spend a lot of money on teeth whitening, you can go to your dentist for professional whitening services or teeth bleaching. This is a great way to get quick results if you have a big event coming up.

Not everyone has the money to spend on a professional whitening service. Instead of looking for teeth whitening near me, you can make your own bathroom a place for dental hygiene and learn how to whiten your teeth.

You can try the Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening All-In-One Kit for a complete whitening effect that is inexpensive and effective. Even though the kit looks a little costly at first, it actually comes out to about $2 per whitening treatment. This means that you can get great whitening results for almost nothing. .

One of the best teeth whitening ingredients is carbamide peroxide. This ingredient has a one to three ratio of hydrogen peroxide. It works just as well as hydrogen peroxide for whitening, but it has a longer shelf life.

Another great option when it comes to keeping your teeth white is Snow’s Whitening Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth with completely safe ingredients.

Final Thoughts

Even though tea, wine, coffee, and soda are all super tasty, they include acids, tannins, and chromogens that stain your teeth and erode your enamel. This means that they are some of the worst drinks for turning your teeth yellow, and you should avoid them if you are trying to maintain your white teeth.

This is easier said than done, though. As a tea addict myself, I realized that completely cutting out all of these drinks is pretty unrealistic for most people. Luckily, simply limiting your intake and brushing your teeth after you drink these beverages will reduce staining dramatically.

Remember, you are never fully dressed without a smile. Whether you have pearly whites or slightly tinted teeth, feel happy and confident with yourself. Boost your confidence even more by maintaining your white teeth and investing in a good whitening treatment. You are worth it, and your smile will light up every room you walk into.